Ceramic Inlays & Onlays
|Here at Drone Prosthodontics in Valparaiso, IN we would like all of our patients to have great oral health, but we also realize that oral health issues can arise in even the healthiest mouth. When a tooth becomes damaged, either because of decay, or physical trauma, we have a variety of restoration methods at our disposal, to meet whatever occasion presents itself. The most common dental restorations are fillings and crowns, but there are a few that work in less common scenarios. Inlays and Onlays are dental restorations that we use to restore a tooth that has been damaged that can retain most of its natural structure.
Direct Vs. Indirect Dental Restorations
There are two different kinds of dental restorations – direct and indirect. The defining difference between the two is where they are made and how they are applied to the tooth. A direct restoration is applied directly to the tooth and crafted within the constraints of the tooth. An example of a direct restoration is a filling. We make a resin mixture that resembles clay or putty, prepare the tooth by removing the decay and place the resin directly onto the tooth. We mold the resin to fit within the drilled area and set it in place permanently.
To craft an indirect restoration, we take an impression of the tooth and use it to craft a restoration at our dental lab. When the restoration is completed, we will place the fully finished restoration on your tooth and set it in place permanently. Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations.
What is a cusp?
To understand the what inlays and onlays are and the difference between them, first you must understand what the cusp of a tooth is. The cusp of a tooth is defined as, “An occlusal or incisal eminence on a tooth.” More simply put, a cusp is the high-point of the tooth. Some teeth, like the front teeth, have only one high point that stretches for the whole length of the tooth, these are teeth with one cusp. Other teeth, like molars, have several high-points, or cusps. We even have some teeth that are named for having only two cusps – the bicuspids. Now that we understand what a cusp is let’s take a look at the difference between inlays and onlays.
What is an inlay?
An inlay is an indirect dental restoration that is made to restore less than one full cusp of the tooth.
What is an onlay?
An onlay is an indirect dental restoration that is made to restore one or more cusps of the tooth.
Inlays and Onlays
Both inlays and onlays are made of a solid substance like porcelain, metal, gold, ceramic, or composite, and are crafted at our dental lab. They are long-lasting and highly durable and can be very hard to detect in your smile. If we use materials that mimic the natural aesthetic of your teeth, like porcelain, ceramic, or composite, people probably won’t even know you had dental work done. Inlays and onlays are commonly applied to teeth that have cracked or chipped, or have been damaged by decay.
Call us today at (219) 250-1163 to schedule your appointment.